Term 4 2020 Webinars

Please see below further information about our upcoming Webinars.

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Tuesday 13 October 2020 at 11:00am (AEST)

How to Bounce Back and Value Add in these Economically Hard Times for Boarding

Webinar Theme:

Our discussion panel consisting of:

  • Mark Corgat, CFO, Brisbane Grammar School
  • Fergus Leicester, COO, St Michael’s Collegiate
  • Gillian Ogilvie, Head of Sales, Edstart (ABSA Partner)
  • Richard Stokes, CEO, ABSA (Facilitator)


Brisbane Grammar School - Mark

Q1. Challenges facing your boarding school during 2020 and onwards? (discussion on ongoing & new challenges, new ideas that have been implemented, things we will need to address over the coming years).

Q2. What measures or solutions has your school implemented to assist boarding school families during these challenging times?

Q3. Building and designing new boarding facilities - key take aways from a Business Managers' Perspective

Q4. What efficiencies and deficiencies are important for boarding schools to investigate?


Edstart - Gillian 

Q1. Overview of the boarding school market and family trends in an economic framework

Q2. What position will families be in to pay boarding school fees during 2021 and onwards?

Q3. What solutions are schools providing to assist struggling families?

Q4. How will the economic challenges affect boarding schools?


St Michael's Collegiate - Fergus 

Q1. Challenges facing your boarding school during 2020 and onwards? (discussion on ongoing & new challenges, new ideas that have been implemented, things we will need to address over the coming years).

Q2. What measures or solutions has your school implemented to assist boarding school families during these challenging times?

Q3. How are you catering for International Boarding Families in 2021 and onwards?

Q4. What areas of boarding are worth investing in and what areas can you find savings without budging the quality?


Mark Corgat, Chief Finance Officer, Brisbane Grammar School




Fergus Leicester, Chief Operating Officer, St Michael's Collegiate






Gillian Ogilvie, Head of Sales, Edstart



Thursday 15 October 2020 at 11:00am (AEST)

Using the Australian Boarding Standard to Improve Outcomes for Boarders and Staff

Webinar Theme:

What is the Boarding Standard for Australian Schools and Residences? 

  • A framework that has been designed to promote and safeguard the welfare of students for whom boarding accommodation is provided

How has the framework helped at The King’s School, Tudor House? Specific examples of how the framework has helped with: 

  • Staff (Health Safety and Wellbeing, Competence and Professional Learning, Management of Staff)
  • Boarders (Child Protection, Safety, Health and Wellbeing of Boarders, Holistic Development, Care and Supervision, Boarders with Particular Needs)
  • Facilities (Development and Management of Facilities)
  • Parent/Family/Community Engagement
  • Governance and Management (Records Management, Management of Residential Service)

Who can benefit from the Boarding Standard? 

  • This Standard is designed for application in boarding services operated by Australian state and territory government agencies, by non-government schools and systems and by local government and community committees. 
  • Legislative requirements affecting boarding services in Australia vary from state to state and between states and territories. This Standard provides a common framework across all jurisdictions and is intended to be of benefit to service providers and users.
  • Experience in other countries suggests that a national boarding standard is effective in promoting quality boarding services.
  • There are many sections of this Standard may align with your policies and procedures that already exist and are documented.

Presenter: Tim Jenkinson, Head of Boarding, The King's School, Tudor House






Monday 19 October 2020 at 3:00pm (AEST)

Boarding School Food - Chartwells

Overview of Webinar:

Great food and excellent service are two of the hallmarks of a positive boarding experience and often the most talked about! Additionally, the responsibility for providing a nutritious and engaging menu framework that talks to balance, variety, sustainability and connection. 

Boarding dining has transformed significantly, over time, and many of today’s students are demanding more international flavours, choice, and quality combined with unprecedented allergen needs. All of this needs to be considered, in addition to ensuring that we also use the opportunity to develop and educate a positive relationship with food and making smart food choices.

This dining room is at the heart of the boarding service and should enhance the food service in order to deliver a holistic and memorable experience.

Webinar Theme:

The presentation will focus on:

  • The importance of a tailored food service that reflects your student demographic and your culture
    that also adds value to the academic and community experience
  • The role that food plays with the physical and emotional wellbeing of boarders
  • How to avoid menu fatigue and maintain engagement
  • How the dining experience, and environment, can further enhance the overall service and influence behaviour and satisfaction
  • How your food service can enhance your brand 


George Michaelides - Director of Business Development - Education

George has worked in the education sector for over 20 years and has spent time in operations and business development. Having worked extensively across this national business he is familiar with all aspects of residential catering, both within Australia and globally through the wider networks. He brings a wealth of experience in hospitality and always looks for operational improvements to drive student satisfaction. George has an open approach that strengthens links between staff and management, promoting confidence within his team and a strong client and consumer focus.



Fiona Seabridge - Director of Innovation and Development

Having worked in the industry for over two decades Fiona has spent considerable time in operations management, business development and innovation. Her working knowledge of the education market, from all perspectives, allows her to take a holistic approach to the development of future concepts and innovations that will add value to  the student experience. Our people are our most important asset and it is critical that they are both suitably qualified and experienced for their roles. We place real focus on adaptability and high end boutique standards to ensure we can deliver a consistent quality service across all aspects of the operation.


Thursday 22 October 2020 at 10:30am (AEST)

Creating an Environment for Positive Communication in a Boarding House - Getting The Most Out of Teenagers

Webinar Theme:

MAN: Through the disruption and re-invention of old-school stereotypes, Tomorrow Man workshops facilitate honest and authentic conversations and using the shared experience and collective wisdom of the men we meet to define a masculinity that generates purpose, pride and health for the men of today and tomorrow. 


Disrupt - old school stereotypes that perpetuate a norm of masculinity that is far too narrow. That doesn't allow permission for healthy traits that strengthen resilience and ultimately keeping more men alive.

Build - emotional muscle - practice the capacity to talk with gravity, talking about things with weight and depth and emotional intensity, if more men learn these skills stats will change for the better.

Re-Invent - to seek out and embody an attractive and modern alternative male stereotype. A more flexible version of tomorrows man that resonates and speaks to the mainstream male. 

WOMAN: All women are born with a voice, confident and outspoken voice that is not afraid to be heard. But the research tells us that around adolescence this voice is lost. Girls become less likely to share their opinions and can lose their true sense of self. Create spaces free from judgement for women to rise above the noise and show their true selves. In a time where the definition of ‘woman’ is expanding and evolving, lets to aim to reignite women with their innate voice and ask the question ‘ Who is the women I want to be tomorrow?’

CHALLENGE - Unpack the history, expectations and facts of modern day womanhood. Who wrote the rulebook and how do we start to re-write it to live a life true to our authentic self?

DISRUPT - By practising being brave not perfect and breaking up with traditional traits and ideals we believe the stats will start to change for the better. 

REIGNITE - We aim to ignite women so that they feel confident to move beyond societal pressures and expectations. Empowering them to make conscious choices to be their own version of tomorrow's woman.

For more information on Tomorrow Man / Women - click here

Presenter: Ryder Jack - Tomorrow Man / Woman










Friday 23 October 2020 - Time TBC

(FREE) Beginning your Journey with Reach


The Level 1 REACH webinar is designed for staff users of REACH. It is ideal for new users to the system or existing users looking to learn more about the core features, navigating the REACH system, learning ways to manage your information and best practices when using REACH.  

Webinar Theme:

  • Navigating your REACH Portal
  • Basic Features Profile
  • Leave (Exeat Leave and QuickLeave)
  • SISO (sign in - sign out for students)
  • Roll Calls (Standard and Live roll calls)
  • Pastoral Notes 
  • Duty Reports (creating and writing reports)
  • Counting Meals
  • Communications (sending notifications in REACH)

Presenter: Garry Jowett

Garry is a founding Director and the Global CEO of the REACH Boarding business. REACH is the global leader in boarding school automation with more than 350 schools across five continents using REACH to manage risk, gain efficiency and improve communications throughout their boarding operations. 



Tuesday 27 October 2020 at 11:00am (AEST)

Developing a Tailored Boarding Curriculum to Promote Your Boarding House 

Webinar Theme:

A Boarding Curriculum:

  • Is specific for your site and provides a framework for all boarding activities
  • Incorporates your school’s Mission Statement and Aims
  • Contributes to student and staff wellbeing
  • Utilizes the strengths of your Head of Boarding and Boarding staff
  • Helps promote what you do, your values and strengths and your points of difference
  • Celebrates what you do well
  • Legitimises what we do 


Presenter: Lisa Wolf, Head of Female Boarding, Yirara College

  • Over 30 years’ experience in Primary, Secondary, Special and Boarding schools in Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
  • Currently Head of Female Boarding at Yirara College, a boarding school in Alice Springs for Indigenous students from remote locations in  the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia





Thursday 29 October 2020 at 11:00am (AEST)

Traditional vs Modern Boarding Houses - Transforming your Boarding Community

Webinar Theme:

  • Background to Christ’s College as a school and in terms of boarding
  • Boarding at Christ’s College pre 2017 including the effects of the 2010/2011 Christchurch Earthquake
  • Summary of findings from a review of boarding in 2016
  • How the new role of Director of Boarding & The Centre for Character and Leadership was implemented.
  • Changes implemented in boarding from 2017 – 2020
  • Changes implemented in character & leadership from 2017 – 2020
  • Links between boarding and character & leadership


Presenter: Darrell Thatcher, Director of Boarding, Christ's College NZ

Darrell Thatcher has been a teacher at Christ’s College for 20 years of which 17 has been involved in boarding. This has included 11 years as a Boarding Housemaster and 4 years as Director of Boarding & The Centre for Character and Leadership. The Director of Boarding & The Centre for Character and Leadership role was created in 2017 with it’s main focus being to oversee boarding as well as implement a cohesive overriding character and leadership programme at Christ’s College. Outside of this role Darrell is in charge of the Christ’s College hockey programme. He is also a keen sports follower and runner having completed several marathons over the past 15 years including running the 2019 Auckland Marathon to celebrate his 50th Birthday!!




Monday 2 November 2020 at 11:00am (AEST)

The Pitfalls and Successes of Re-Modelling your Staffing Structure

Webinar Theme:

Central to the success of any boarding program is the culture of the residential community.

It is readily evident to anyone who has worked in a boarding setting that there are a myriad of factors and actions than can both create and indeed denude a culture.

Without doubt, one of the central pillars of fabricating a  positive culture, one where students are both safe and happy, is to build a strong an innovative collection of boarding tutors, or perhaps more eloquently, a team around the student. 

The first challenge in the residential setting is to attract and retain the best staff available to you. The second challenge is to develop a structure (and processes) that allow everyone to thrive and contribute to a team that seeks to continually improve in its care for the student population.

Three years ago, we re-worked our staffing model and culture at Brisbane Grammar School. We will readily share the process we went through, the options we considered, the model we implemented, and the successes and pitfalls of the experience, with the aim of enabling leaders of boarding communities to reflect on the effectiveness of their current structure, and what model would best suit their residential community.  


Presenter: Berian Williams-Jones, Director of Boarding, Brisbane Grammar School

Current Director of Boarding at Brisbane Grammar School. Previously Head of Boarding at Gippsland Grammar, and Dean Close School, England. Have worked in boarding schools throughout my career including Haileybury, England and The Southport School. Current VC of Qld ABSA and former committee member of Vic ABSA.



Friday 6th November 2020 at 11:00AM (AEST)

(FREE) New Features Session - Reach Boarding School Software

Webinar Summary

Profiles a range of new and upgraded features released in 2020 across various modules.

  • Kiosk screen updates
  • Covid Surveys
  • Contact Tracing Instant reports
  • Consent Forms
  • Report Cards
  • House Cards
  • QR Codes and NFC tags for contactless SISO
  • Remote Auth for Kiosk monitoring
  • Bulk Contacts viewing
  • Adding Documents
  • Sidebar separation of data type
  • Rollcall location changes
  • Live rollcalls
  • Pastoral Overview Screen
  • REACH Now
  • Rats and Mice – A range of useful bits and pieces that you may not notice until you need them.


Presenter: Garry Jowett

Garry is a founding Director and the Global CEO of the REACH Boarding business. REACH is the global leader in boarding school automation with more than 350 schools across five continents using REACH to manage risk, gain efficiency and improve communications throughout their boarding operations. 


Tuesday 10 November 2020 at 11:00am (AEST)

Creating a Culturally Safe Boarding House Environment For Indigenous Students

Webinar Theme:

This presentation is about how to keep Indigenous students culturally safe whilst they are at boarding school. Initially, it will start with key elements and recommendations from a case study, and then TSU staff will discuss their perception of what strategies and day to day practices work with keeping students culturally safe. There will be time for questions and answers during the presentation.


Presenter: Andrew Lloyd, NT Transition Support


Andrew Lloyd has been working with the NT Transition Support Unit, supporting students to transition to boarding school

There will be 2 to 3 other TSU staff presenting on strategies and processes that they recommend will help boarding students stay culturally safe.




Thursday 12 November 2020 at 10:30am (AEST)

Virtual Boarding House Tour, Ascham School

Webinar Theme:

For Since 1887 boarding has played a significant role in the development of Ascham. It promotes lifelong friendships within a very special community, one that is right at the heart of the School.

For boarders, the School is their home and the focus of their learning, creating a wonderful sense of community for the boarders and for every girl in the School.

Girls learn to live harmoniously with one another in a respectful and caring community and enjoy a supervised academic program as well as a comprehensive weekend activity program.
When our girls graduate they are enriched with the memories of their experiences, and the strong friendships they develop remain dear to them throughout their lives.

There are now more than 130 boarders from Years 7 to 12 with the majority from country NSW, and some from Sydney suburbs, interstate and overseas.

Presenter: Sue Newton, Head of Boarding, Ascham







Tuesday 17 November 2020 at 11:00am (AEST)

How To Manage The Risk In Boarding School Excursions - CompliSpace

Webinar Theme:

There is no doubt that schools consider excursions to be a risky business. In a CompliSpace School Risk Survey, they were raised in the top ten operational risks for all of the surveyed schools. The risks in Boarding Schools are the same, if not higher- given the other variables such as inexperienced or very young supervisory staff. More so, because boarding facilities attempt to emulate home life, there are many more off- campus activities that boarders are encouraged to attend.  In this webinar, Craig D’cruz National Education Lead CompliSpace will highlight some of the risks associated with boarding student excursions, he will detail the excursion management cycle and offer some insights and suggestions that boarding schools may wish to consider as we begin to plan for 2021 in what we hope will be a post-COVID environment. 

Presenter: Craig D'Cruz

With nearly 40 years of educational experience, Craig D’cruz is the National Education Lead at CompliSpace. Craig provides direction on education matters including new products, program/module content and training. He also regularly contributes to School Governance and briefing papers. Previously Craig held the roles of Industrial Officer at the Association of Independent Schools of WA, he was the Principal of a K-12 non-government school, Deputy Principal of a systemic non-government school and he has had teaching, boarding house and leadership experience in both the independent and Catholic school sectors. Craig currently sits on the board of a large non-government school and is a regular presenter on behalf of CompliSpace and other educational bodies on issues relating to school governance, school culture and school leadership.




Thursday 19 November 2020 at 11:00am (AEST)

Renovating Your Boarding House While Minimising Cost

Webinar Theme:

This webinar will explore innovative and practical renovation solutions for boarding houses. In partnership with Bunnings, we are offering a unique opportunity with Kaboodle. Kaboodle specialise in simple modular kitchenettes suitable for boarding communities. 

  • The Webinar will cover :
    • Product information
    • Design and support available
    • Maintenance options
    • Warranty information
    • Installation tips

Presenter: Gerard Brewty, Bunnings, Rebecca Higgison, Kaboodle & Steve Smith, Kleenmaide

Rebecca Higgison

  • Queensland Trade Territory Manager for the kaboodle trade division.  
  • I have been in this role for fourteen months. 
  • Previously I was with Bunnings for fifteen years, including a two-year secondment to Darwin.


Gerard Brewty

Been with Bunnings for 7 years and in the industry for over 20 years. Gerard will be presenting on the offer provided by Bunnings to ABSA members. 


Steve Smith

  • Appliance specialist focused on the commercial sector for the past 25 years
  • Put 2 sons through a boarding school
  • Cognisant of the needs of boarding houses and schools in general.





Monday 23 November at 3:00PM (AEST)

Virtual Boarding House Tour - UWC Dilijan College

Webinar Theme:

UWC Dijilian is a diverse international community working towards a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world through a challenging education based upon high academic standards and strong intercultural understanding.

The College is an integral part of Dilijan and Armenia, and aims to have both a transforming personal effect and a positive local and regional impact. UWCD strives for excellence in an innovative and inspirational educational experience within a joyful, open multi-cultural community that will contribute towards a peaceful and sustainable future.

In 2014, impact investors and social entrepreneurs Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend, with the support of other Founding Donors, established UWC Dilijan, an international boarding school located on the ancient Silk Route and at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Russia. It became the 14th United World College among the 18 schools and colleges now established in the global education movement. The Founders’ aim was to bring the transformational power of education to young people from diverse geographies, cultures and backgrounds. They envisaged creating a school that combines the best practices of today’s education and embodies the future of education.


Presenter: Madhuchhanda Banerji, Teacher of Science and Head of Residential Life & Safeguarding Lead

 MSc in Botany - University of Calcutta (India). PGCE Institute of Education, University of London (UK). Madhu started my career as a research scientist in the Department of Zoology, University of Delhi. During her teaching career, she worked in various schools in the UK and countries in Africa in different capacities, which included positions of Head of Sciences, IBDP coordinator and Head of Boarding. She presently remains an examiner for IB, Cambridge and EDEXCEL in the subject of Biology.



Tuesday 24 November 2020 at 11:00am (AEST)

Six Scenarios You Never Trained For... Until Now

Webinar Theme:

Using brief videos as springboards for discussion, this interactive session will draw upon your experience and expertise to respond skillfully and supportively to the most challenging student scenarios. Boarding staff must think on their feet, but some events are so rare that we never get to practice…until now. Join psychologist Dr. Chris Thurber for an educational hour that will boost your confidence before the next crisis.


Presenter: Dr Christopher Thurber

Chris serves as counsellor and instructor at Philips Exeter Academy. He is a board-certified clinical psychologist, educator, author and father. in 2019, Chris created Prep4School, which helps new boarders make successful adjustments. Find out more by visiting Prep4School.com or write to: chris@drchristhurber.com